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Fourth Marine Division, Tinian, Saipan, Iwo Jima & West Loch of Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by Slipdigit, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    A good friend of my wife works at a local hospital in the x-ray department and talked with a veteran today. She told him about me and he asked for her to give me his number. She did and I called him this evening.

    He was a Marine, initially with HQ/2/25/4th Marine Div. He made landings at Saipan, Tinian, and lastly Iwo Jima, where he as a 81mm mortar crewman. He was on one of the LSTs tied up next to LST-353, which exploded during the course of unloading ammunition in the West Loch of Pearl Harbor on 21 May 1944.

    We're going to make arrangements for me to visit him in his home; he says he has a lot of things to show me. He is in the hospital and thinks he may go home tomorrow.

    He was one of six siblings in the war. All made it home.
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Sounds exciting, Jeff. Keep us informed about what you discover about him and his memories. Pictures would be good, if he allows you to take them.
     
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  3. YugoslavPartisan

    YugoslavPartisan Drug

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    It indeed sounds exciting. Looking forward to hear his story.
     
  4. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I never heard of the explosion in the West Loch at Pearl, but I did read about the big one at Port Chicago, California. Same here, looking forward to reading more about this man and his stories.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen O

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  6. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Loch_disaster

    There you are
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    He was getting his haircut on the deck when the first explosions occurred. The barber was one of the men from his battalion and paused at first. Mr. Carroll asked him to finish the job. He said no and started moving toward the railing. With the second explosion , Mr. Carroll took off, too, jumped the railing and swam to shore.
     
  8. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    A bad haircut and a close shave in one sitting.
     
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  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I forgot to followup on this.

    I went to visit this gentleman in his home in September. He was in rather poor health at the time. A friend of mine went with me and it turned out that the Marine had been a college professor and had taught my friend years ago.

    He showed some mementos that he had, but it was mostly written works from long after the war had ended. We talked about his experience during the war and hinted several times that he wanted me to write a book about it. To be honest with you, I was concerned about his memory as he could not recall names of friends, squad leaders, company commanders, and the like. I was also concerned about his health. We stayed about an hour and the visit exhausted him.

    I read his obituary about two weeks later.

    Rest gently my friend.
     
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  10. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    Amazing, JW. Knowing that you cared so much - I am sure that meant a great deal to Mr. Carroll.

    Glad that you got to meet him and thanks for sharing.
     
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  11. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    It's very sad to hear that Mr. Carroll has passed away. I agree with Rick. I'm sure it meant a lot to him that you cared enough to take the time and visit with him.
     
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  12. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Another living legend gone...man the things he would have seen during his service! We just read about it and a dwindling few were there and did it, saw it, and some are still with us...good on you Slip, i'm "well jel!"
     
  13. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    :poppy: :poppy: Indeed, C!
     

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